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The slick Fisker Karma luxury hybrid, set to debut later this year for $87,000 gets a modest 67.2 mpg, while offering hot performance.
It may not claim as high mileage as the Chevy Volt, but the Karma sure looks nice

These days, wild claims about plug-in fuel economy are becoming commonplace.  GM is claiming that the 2011 Chevy Volt will get an incredible 230 mpg.  And Nissan, not to be outdone, is claiming that its pure-electric 2011 Nissan Leaf EV will get 367 mpg (presumably calculated using power plant efficiency, as the vehicle uses no fuel).

Fisker, meanwhile, is taking a more modest approach.  It is claiming that its slick Karma luxury plug-in hybrid gets 3.5 liters per 100 kilometers (equivalent to 67.2 mpg U.S.).  Fisker reports that the Karma also features low emissions -- a mere 83 grams per kilometer.  Fisker was careful to back these claims, stating that it adhered to the J2841 emissions testing methodology developed by the Society of Automotive Engineers.

Fisker CEO Henrik Fisker brags, "The Fisker Karma is the future of driving. It proves we can drive environmentally responsible cars without sacrificing the emotional things that made us fall in love with cars in the first place."

The Karma is anticipated to debut later this year at a price tag of approximately $87,000.  This places it in direct competition with the Tesla Roadster, but the sticker price places it in less of a direct competition with the Leaf and Chevy Volt.

The vehicle features a top speed of 125 mph and can reach 60 mph (from a stop) in 5.8 seconds.  It sports a 2.0 l Turbocharged Ecotec VVT engine, along with two electric motors for 403 total horsepower.  It has a 50 mile all-electric range.  A solar roof option is offered for both recharging the battery pack and offering climate control, similar to the Prius.  The roof panel is estimated to provide up to half a kilowatt-hour per day.

Fisker hopes to sell 15,000 of the vehicles a year.  If it can sustain this sales pace, it will save 248 million gallons of gasoline by 2016, it estimates.  Whether it can meet this objective or not, it's refreshing to see one company taking a more measured approach to fuel economy claims.

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RE: Wait
By Trippytiger on 9/9/2009 11:31:37 AM , Rating: 2
Keep in mind that the Karma is a series hybrid, which means that the gasoline engine is strictly a generator. It isn't mechanically connected to the rear wheels in any way.

I do agree that 5.8s is pretty slow, considering the drivetrain it does have. Apparently it's a very heavy car... over 5000lb according to one article I found. That's Bentley territory.

RE: Wait
By Sazar on 9/9/2009 11:42:10 AM , Rating: 2
5.8 0-60 is plenty fast. Considering that this is a HYBRID, I think expectations need to be tempered somewhat :)

This was the first car with that solar panel roof and has an environmentally friendly/sustainable interior and it looks awesome :)

Plus, it is a LARGE car that easily seats 4. Even then, it is just a touch slower than my current 4 door and I haven't really had any issues when I am driving of getting up and going from a red light or accelerating in traffic to merge.

RE: Wait
By Trippytiger on 9/9/2009 11:45:00 AM , Rating: 2
Personally, I have higher expectations of cars with electric motors. The performance characteristics are so much better!

We just need lighter batteries.

RE: Wait
By mindless1 on 9/9/2009 7:50:58 PM , Rating: 2
... or to quit pretending we need race cars for public streets.

RE: Wait
By Trippytiger on 9/9/2009 11:43:37 AM , Rating: 2
I have to add: if you want to make a proper comparison, compare it to other luxury grand-tourers like the Quattroporte, not cheap pocket rockets like the Cobalt SS. That's not the target market segment at all.

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